Mar 25 2021 05:19 AM
Mar 25 2021 05:19 AM
Two related questions:
I used to build very complex Excel applications with multiple workbooks, ODBC links to ERP systems, and so on. I moved mostly to Google Sheets for the online collaboration feature when it became usable enough. I just dipped my toes in the water of the Excel online world and I was badly disappointed. Here's my initial list of missing features that I needed on the first day and could not find:
I'm hoping I'm wrong about at least some of these. Every time I came up against a missing capability, I wasted time searching to see if it's really there, so a reasonably definitive feature list curated by actual users (or Microsoft themselves) would have helped.
Mar 25 2021 05:27 AM
Excel for the web looks a lot like the Excel desktop app. However, there are some differences to be aware of. For example, not all file formats are supported, and some features may work differently than the desktop app. This article explains these differences.
In the End Please don't forget, Excel Online is FREE while it's traditional version costs about $ 129 for you to install it to your workstation. Excel Online is basically Microsoft's answer to Google Sheets.
So if you're familiar with how Google Sheets works, that's basically what Excel Online is: a free web-based platform.
I would be happy to know if I could help with this information.
I know I don't know anything (Socrates)
Mar 25 2021 06:25 AM
Thanks. I have found a few resources like that, but most of them (that one included) talk more about similarities than specifically what is missing. I really wanted something that says "If you need this capability, don't bother trying to use Excel online". Macros, links to other spreadsheets, named ranges, and protection are critical, for instance. All features that Excel desktop and Google Sheets provide, by the way.
Google Sheets was pretty limited in the early days, but has gotten much more capable. I expected Excel online to be even better - comparable to Excel desktop. Instead, it appears to lack a great many core features that are necessary for any serious application. I'm hoping that Microsoft continues to develop it, and the list of missing features gets shorter. For now, as far as I can tell, Google Sheets far surpasses Excel online for any serious spreadsheet work.
Mar 25 2021 07:03 AM
You probably mean such a comparison. Click on the heading to continue.
Office for the web (formerly Office Web Apps) opens Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint documents in your web browser. Office for the web makes it easier to work and share Office files from anywhere with an internet connection, from almost any device. Microsoft 365 customers with Word, Excel, OneNote, or PowerPoint can view, create, and edit files on the go.
Mar 25 2021 08:14 AM
I had actually found that. It's really misleading, though:
Forgive me for venting a bit here, but I wasted a lot of time and embarrassed myself with a client based on the mistaken idea that Excel for the web was much closer to Excel desktop (or Google Sheets) than it actually is. A list of 50 features that are the same is not as useful as a list of 5 features that are missing. It may be good for some applications, but it should be easier to determine what it's *not* well suited for, especially since it carries the name 'Excel'.
Mar 25 2021 10:51 AM
Ultimately, it depends on the eye of the beholder.
It may well be better for a salesperson to know what Excel for web cannot do in order to illustrate the benefits of another product.
It may sound better if the Excel for web user knows in advance, what the software can’t do. Nevertheless, what use is it? ... if most of the users are beginners.
However, showing what is possible is always better in the long term.
Remember Excel for Web (or Office for web) is actually an entry-level software in the Microsoft world, at the same time this software is "free". So showing what it can do is always better because more users will use Excel for web with it. Excel for web does not compete with any of the other Microsoft products, Excel for web competes with other competing software like LibreOffice, GoogleSheets, OpenOffice, etc.
If the user knows that Excel for web can cope with tasks like other competing products, so knows what it can do and not what it can't do. At the same time, he also has the opportunity (which competing products cannot do so well or not at all), if he wants to expand the software with more options, simply with a subscription.
This will make choosing Excel for web a lot easier than any other competing product.
Of course, all of this is just my humble opinion.
Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion so far.
Mar 25 2021 12:24 PM
As a comment, from your initial list
This functionality is under deployment now, some set of targeted users already have it
Also shall be soon.
More functionality is coming. But I think VBA will never be supported, at least directly. Now Office Scripts instead.
Mar 25 2021 12:29 PM
Mar 25 2021 12:31 PM
Sep 29 2021 03:43 AM
Sep 30 2021 03:15 PM
Ribbon on Excel for web is not customizable. And it has no Developer tab at all, depends on subscription that could be Automation tab to work with Office Scripts Introduction to Office Scripts in Excel (microsoft.com)
Jan 22 2022 01:54 PM
To be fair, Google Sheets is also free. I've been a bit confused at Microsoft dropping features from excel over time. Excel 2011 had more features and capability than Excel 2016, which in turn has slightly more features and capability than the online Excel app as of right now. I jumped into an Office 365 trial for our small business to try to work with a large, complex data set that I was able to create a graph for on my old laptop in my old version of excel and the web app for excel can't handle the graph and doesn't have the convenient features to edit and work with data. This seems like a huge regression. Mind you, I mentioned that we started a 365 trial subscription for our business (and *may* start paying for it next month if it seems worth it, but as of right now I'm really not inspired. I would have wanted more functionality and versatility than a prior excel version if I'm going to be paying for a subscription).
I don't think it makes much of a comparison to say that "it's free and that's why it's missing features" when even the paid version is missing those features and functionality. Sure, you can have free vs premium tiers of a software and have the functionality go along with that, but to even have the paid version lacking functionality isn't really inspiring for such a mainstay software.
That's just my take and surprise from it.
Jan 22 2022 03:11 PM
It's been almost a year - I've developed several pretty complex applications using Google Sheets. It's pretty impressive at this point. It has a *very* sophisticated macro language and available libraries - it supports links to remote SQL databases for example. It's *far* superior to Excel online at this point, and can give Excel desktop a run for it's money in many use cases. The one pain point is linking to other spreadsheets. This is trivially easy in Excel desktop, awkward in Google sheets, and not possible in Excel online (afaik).